family law edinburgh divorce lawyers

Divorce Lawyers Edinburgh

Divorce Lawyers EdinburghDivorce can be an extemely difficult time. Family Law Edinburgh are a team of highly skilled divorce lawyers who seek to help families resolve issues in as amicable a manner as possible.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you. You can call us on 0131 322 1692 or complete our online enquiry form.

Separating from your partner is usually a difficult and stressful time. You may have many questions about the best step for you and your family to take. Family Law Edinburgh is operated on behalf of Gibson Kerr, a family law team who are highly experienced in all areas of divorce and separation law. We understand how upsetting a separation can be and we treat every enquiry with sensitivity and tact.

Why choose Gibson Kerr?

  • Fiona Rasmusen, Partner and Head of Family Law, is a Law Society Accredited Specialist in Family Law with over 25 years' experience in all aspects of Family Law.
  • Fiona is a trained family arbitrator and is trained in Collaborative Law. All of our team are committed to helping families resolve disputes in as stress-free a manner as possible.
  • We are members of CALM, Consensus and the Family Law Association.
  • We are friendly, understanding and client focused.
  • Our offices are located on Randolph Crescent, a 2 minute walk from Princes Street.
  • Fixed fee options are available.

We have years of experience in guiding clients through divorce proceedings in Scotland. Our entire approach is aimed at taking as much stress and strain out of the proceedings as possible for our clients. We have built our reputation upon providing expert divorce advice and delivering a professional service to our clients.

You can contact us now to discuss your situation and to hear how we can help you. The following content has been produced to answer some of the most common questions and we hope that this is of help to you. Every person's situation is unique and we provide bespoke advice.

Allow us to make things clearer for you by contacting us today on 0131 322 1692.

For further guidance on the law and procedure relating to divorce in Scotland, please see our divorce solicitors' expert guides below:

Fixed Fee Divorce Options

We understand that many separating couples are worried about the cost of divorce. You may be concerned that you will not know how much the divorce is going to cost you until it is completed, or that there will be hidden fees you had not factored in.

Our team give you clear information about costs from the start of the process. Our fixed fee packages remove the worry and uncertainty about what the final cost will be.

What Are The Grounds For Divorce?

To divorce in Scotland you must first of all be in a marriage that is recognised as a valid one in the United Kingdom and you must have jurisdiction to raise the case in a court in Scotland. If you satisfy these tests then you will be in a position to seek a divorce if your circumstances meet the criteria

  • That the marriage has broken down irretrievably
  • An interim gender certificate is held by one of the parties to the marriage

What Is Irretrievable Breakdown?

The most common ground is the irretrievable breakdown ground. This means that the parties either agree or one party has to show that the marriage is permanently over. This can be shown by proving one of the following grounds:

  • The unreasonable behaviour of your partner. This can be behaviour such as violence, mental cruelty or dominating a partner for example. Evidence of such behaviour would be required if the divorce is a contested one and one party does not agree to the divorce and the two year separation period has not been met.
  • Adultery. There is no minimum period of a marriage required prior to seeking a divorce on the grounds of adultery. Establishing that one party has had a sexual relationship with another person is often taken to establish irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
  • Parties have lived apart for at least 12 months and both agree that divorce should take place. It should be noted that parties can “separate” and still live in the same house, what is meant here is that the parties are no longer involved in a husband and wife relationship. Also, if there is a period of reconciliation that is not successful then this need not mean that another 12 months separation must be commenced e.g. if a couple separated for 3 months then reconciled for 3 months and then again separated the first three months would still count towards the 12 month period. This applies as long as the attempted reconciliation period does not exceed 6 months.
  • Parties have lived apart for at least 24 months but only one party consents to divorce. The same principles apply as above regarding calculating continuous separation and once two years of separation is established then a court will grant divorce on the basis of irretrievable breakdown based on separation even if one party does not consent.

Divorce Procedure Scotland

In Scotland there are only two procedures that end a marriage:

  • The simplified divorce procedure
  • The ordinary procedure

Your circumstances will dictate which procedure is relevant.

The Simplified Divorce Procedure

In most cases, people will wish for divorce proceedings to be as quick and simple as possible. In order though to qualify for the simplified divorce procedure certain criteria must be met, namely:

  • There are no children of the marriage under the age of 16
  • There is agreement between the parties in relation to financial matters
  • The divorce is being applied for due to the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage based on one year of separation with the consent of both parties. The other ground for divorce are two years separation without consent, or the issue of an interim gender recognition certificate.

In order to be able to utilise this simplified procedure you must be able to answer “Yes” to all of the above criteria and if not the ordinary procedure will be applicable. The simplified procedure is obviously designed to be straightforward. However, we would strongly advise that you obtain independent legal advice and in particular in relation to agreeing financial matters. We routinely advise clients in such circumstances.

The Ordinary Divorce Procedure

If there are children under the age of 16 or financial issues that cannot be agreed then the ordinary divorce procedure will apply. The question will then arise as to whether the matter will proceed to divorce as a defended or undefended divorce. Legal advice should be obtained and our solicitors at Family Law Edinburgh can advise and assist you throughout the entire process.

If parties are able to agree on the grounds for divorce and on financial issues then the case can proceed to court on an undefended basis. The crucial aspect here is that agreement is reached by the divorcing parties so that there is no need for a full court hearing with evidence being led and cost being incurred. Reaching such agreement can often require extensive negotiation and correspondence as many matters require to be considered. An experienced family law solicitor is essential at this stage.

If agreement is not able to be reached then the case will proceed to court as a defended divorce action. This will mean that a hearing called a proof will ultimately be assigned.

How to Find the Best Divorce Lawyer for You

The beauty of the modern digital age is the huge amount of information we have quick and easy access to. A Google search for the best family lawyer in a large city like Edinburgh will bring up a variety of different firms for you to choose from.

A decision on a divorce or child custody lawyer will normally come at a difficult and trying time in your life and it would be easy to feel intimidated by the choices available to you. This useful guide is devised to help you consider what it is that you really need from a family lawyer to make sure that you find the best one for you and your family.

Main Points to Consider When Choosing Your Family Lawyer

  • Costs of Divorce and Family Law

Many people are wary of the costs of involving a solicitor in divorce or separation procedures. Each firm will offer a different fee structure so you may want to establish what the firms’ costs will be from your first communication with them. Some firms will offer a fixed fee package and other firms will charge you according to the time spent on your case. Not all firms will offer Legal Aid services. You should spend some time thinking about what fee arrangement is best for you before you choose a firm.

  • Family Law Expertise

There are many different types of firms that can help you with parental rights issues or divorce. Given the highly personal and delicate issues that family law involves, you may feel more comfortable being represented by a firm that have vast experience and specialist knowledge of all aspects of family law. Divorce and separation agreements can be complicated and can involve strict evidential rules. A specialism in family law is a good sign that the firm will have the expertise to guide you through the process.

  • Location of Family Lawyer

You need to consider how you will meet with your solicitor. A firm located in the centre of Edinburgh will have good public transport links whereas a firm in a more remote location might be more difficult to get to. You might want to consider what your travel costs will be. Some firms are open to using email, Skype and video conferencing and this makes the location of the firm less important.

  • Family Law Reviews

Many people like to read restaurant or hotel reviews to find out what previous customers thought of the service they received. The same principle can be applied to family law firms. Information that the firm tells you about their solicitors is valuable, but you can learn a lot more from reading about the experiences of their previous clients. You could learn about whether the firm will guarantee to have one solicitor handle your case throughout your divorce, how quickly the firm will respond to you and how clear their costs are.

Contact Expert Edinburgh Divorce Lawyers Today

These are the principles that govern seeking divorce in Scotland. You may have read this outline and still not be sure if you are in a position to divorce or which type of irretrievable breakdown applies to your situation. Such matters can be complicated and that is why we are here to advise you. Your enquiry will be treated with confidence and professionalism.

Contact Family Law Edinburgh today on 0131 322 1692 or complete our online enquiry form.

Enquire now

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